Winning on the road is not easy. Opponents have awesome intro videos and drunk fans passionately defend home court; if the table is set a certain way, things can get hostile quickly. But if the Detroit Pistons would like to enter the conversation as one of the premier teams in the Eastern Conference, they have to start by winning on the road. The Pistons won their first road game Saturday in Denver, and you’d hope those winning road ways continue tonight by dismantling a 4-6 New York Knicks team that looks like a non-playoff team for the fourth straight year.
Mature teams beat mediocre teams on a regular basis, whether at home or on the road. They cushion their record by continuously defeating lesser opponents, and they tend to do so methodically. The Pistons have looked like that mature, playoff-quality team in all of their home games so far this season, winning by an average of 17.4 points per game. They’ve handled scoring droughts, sloppy turnovers, and opponents’ offensive runs, but have always found a way to right the ship, ya know? Like good teams do.
However, the Pistons have looked stagnant, if not incompetent, in most games played on the road to date, losing by an average of 15 ppg. Detroit will take their (non-playoff quality) 1-5 road record into Madison Square Garden, looking to build on a two game win streak and win their second straight road contest. If they want to assert themselves in the East, they’ll need to do what good teams do: Beat mediocre teams, no matter the arena.
When: Wednesday, November 16th, 7:30p.m. EST
Where: Madison Square Garden: New York City, NY
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit
Players to watch - Marcus Morris and Carmelo Anthony
I’m someone who, when it’s convenient for me, can admit I was wrong. Last time these two matched up, once I noticed that Morris and Anthony were going to be dueling it out, I stupidly tweeted...
Sidenote: I got Melo over Morris in that one on one ish.— David Fernandez (@THE_FERNANTULA) November 2, 2016
Yup, very very wrong about that. Now Melo did go on to finish the game scoring 24 points (2 more than Morris), but finished with plus-minus of -7. When these two were isolated on the block, or squared up outside the paint, Morris continually got the best of Melo.
There was this.
You get the point.
I’m looking for this to be another heated contest between the two. Morris has been asked to take on more of the offense with Reggie Jackson being out, and so far it’s been feast or famine. He’s averaging 14.5 ppg (just above last year’s average), but has had games where he’s scored 20+, and games where he was unable to reach double digits. Not a model of consistency by any stretch of the imagination. He definitely got up for the first match-up against Melo, so I’m expecting him to do the same tonight, and reproduce the effort he displayed on November 1st.
Melo on the other hand, has been doing Melo. He’s averaging 22.6 points per contest, on 31.6 percent usage, good (or bad) for third in the NBA. I assume he’ll score 20+ once again, but in a losing effort, as he has so many nights before.
Also, I thought it best to let y’all know, regarding the first game between Mook and Melo, I came to my senses.
Just kidding on that Marcus Morris tweet— David Fernandez (@THE_FERNANTULA) November 2, 2016
Ish Smith, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Andre Drummond (Game-time decision), Tobias Harris, Macus Morris
New York City
Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah
Detroit is frankly a better team than NYC. They’ve also seemed to have turned the corner following that difficult West Coast road swing, winning their last two games by more than 13 points. So I expect them continue their hot streak, winning 100-93.
Now it’s your turn, DBB. Which player match-up will have you glued to the tube?